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Russia looks to the future

Published by , Senior Editor
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

According to analysis from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), mankind has 10 years to change the dynamics of anthropogenic climate change before it becomes irreversible. Certain calculations show that Russia accounts for 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. For this reason, it is important that the country develops realistic plans to reduce carbon emissions in the downstream sector.

In addition to the social context, it is necessary to take into account the influence of external economic factors. Russian exporters ‘supply’ a part of their own direct and indirect emissions to countries in the EU. The introduced border carbon tax (BCT) will affect exports from Russia, and companies will need to reduce the carbon intensity of products in order to maintain competitiveness.

Looking at the prospects of ‘traditional’ refining and petrochemicals, the development of synthetic fuels from fossil fuels will depend on both the price of conventional fuels and the development of alternative energy. Despite the plans of international industry leaders to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, few have decided to completely abandon the use of non-renewable energy sources.

In 2020, development programmes of international companies were revised, but fast-forward a year and a number of large-scale projects are expected to be reinstated. Diversification towards more oil and gas chemical products (from basic olefins to fertilizers and specialty chemicals) allows companies to expand their product line with a smaller carbon footprint and higher added value.

Key elements for sustainable development include technology, government support, investment, people, culture and partners. Global companies are all at different stages in their transitions, and there are several potential approaches. In Russia, most major companies seem to be looking primarily at decarbonisation of their oil and gas operations. Taking into account the access to natural reserves and comparatively low utility costs for many of them, this seems logical...

Written by Ekatrina Kalineko and Stefan Chapman, Euro Petroleum Consultants (EPC).

This article was originally published in the December 2021 issue of Hydrocarbon Engineering magazine. To read the full article, sign in here or register for a free trial subscription.

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Downstream news